Lines now open
- Click here to Speak to a course adviser now
or call us on 01202 006 464

What Subjects do Primary School Teachers Teach?

Primary School Teachers play a significant role in the academic and behavioural development of children. This level of education is for children aged between 5 and 11 years old, with the next phase of the children’s academic journey being at secondary school.

Before they reach that stage, children have to go through Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, which make up the primary curriculum in the UK. If you are interested in teaching primary school, UK learners should know the types of subjects that you will be teaching as Primary School Teachers.

Below, we have explained the subjects involved and the primary school teaching courses and other Teacher training courses online you can take to pursue a career in this education sector. There is no doubt that it is incredibly rewarding teaching primary school, UK residents, and once you get a base knowledge of what’s involved, you can confidently move forward with your career.


What does a primary teacher teach - teacher training courses online - ncfe cache level 3 - cache level 3 award in childcare and education


How to Get into Primary School Teaching

Initially, it may seem overwhelming thinking about the route you have to take to become a Primary School Teacher, but you should know that you have a few options open to you. Regardless of whether you want to work as a Primary or Secondary School Teacher in state-run England and Wales schools, you will need to achieve Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

To achieve your QTS, you will need to meet various criteria, including a background check. As well as the relevant Primary School Teacher qualifications, you will need to gain Teacher Assistant training and experience. The criteria are as follows:

  • GCSEs in English, Maths and Science at grades C/4 or above
  • An undergraduate degree
  • A pass in the professional skills tests
  • Teacher education training
  • Experience working in schools or with young children

Before you reach the QTS stage, you will need to gain Primary School Teacher qualifications, which may include studying Teacher training courses online. Below, we have broken down the academic route.

GCSEs or Equivalent

As mentioned in the above list, you will need to have grades C/4 or above in English, Maths and Science. If you did not obtain these qualifications while at school, you can still achieve them with the help of learndirect.

We provide a range of online GCSE courses, which are nationally recognised qualifications. Alternatively, you can achieve the equivalent of GCSEs in the form of Functional Skills, which are Level 2 qualifications that focus on English, Maths, and ICT.


What A Levels should Primary teachers study - teacher training courses online - special needs courses - cache level 3 diploma in supporting teaching and learning


Do You Need A Levels to be a Teacher?

As stated in the list, you will require an undergraduate degree as part of your Primary School Teacher qualifications, but to secure a place at university, you will likely need at least two A Levels. For those of you looking to become Primary School Teachers but don’t currently have A levels, you can achieve these by studying them online with learndirect.

If you would like to go down a different route, you could study an Access to Higher Education Diploma, which is widely regarded as the equivalent to 3 A Levels. Most universities accept these qualifications as alternatives to A Levels, but please check the entry requirements of your chosen university before applying.

By studying the Access to Higher Education Diploma (Education), you will gain essential foundational knowledge about education, as well as get prepared for degree-level study. This should put you in a strong position ahead of other aspiring Primary School Teachers.

Generally, the Access to Higher Education Diploma (Education) is suited to individuals hoping to become Primary School Teachers as you won’t be specifying in one subject. When embarking on secondary level teaching, you will likely focus on the subject that you will teach, but this Access to HE Diploma course provides you with an overall foundation of education.

By studying for this nationally recognised qualification online, you will benefit from the following: 

  • Flexible learning – You have two years to complete your Access to Higher Education Diploma course, but most learndirect students complete it in an average of 9-12 months
  • No classrooms – With the course being 100% online, you won’t be restricted by in-person learning that comes with traditional studying
  • Individual Learning Plan – You will be issued with a plan that details your submission deadlines to help you stay on track
  • No exams – To achieve your Diploma and pursue Primary School Teacher qualifications at degree level, you have to complete a series of assignments as opposed to taking an exam


Once you have obtained your undergraduate degree, you may want to consider a PGCE course, which is a fast-track route to becoming a Teacher. This postgraduate certificate should take one year to complete, and it will put you on track to achieving QTS.

What Subjects do Primary Schools Teach?

Primary School Teachers do not specify in certain subjects like Secondary Teachers do. Instead, teaching primary school, UK Teachers, involves covering a broad spectrum of subjects outlined in the national curriculum. The core subjects you will be focusing on are:

  • Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Science



Developing literacy skills is one of the main priorities of Primary School Teachers as it helps children communicate in both the spoken and written word. The skills covered as part of the National Curriculum include:

Key Stage 1 and 2

  • Reading – word reading
  • Reading – comprehension
  • Writing – transcription
  • Writing – composition
  • Writing – vocabulary, grammar, and punctuation



This is the first introduction to numbers that children will experience in their academic development. Having a knowledge of mathematics is important for everyday life and problem solving. Primary School Teachers will be responsible for teaching the following:

Key Stage 1 and 2 

  • Number – number and place value
  • Number – addition and subtraction
  • Number – multiplication and division
  • Number – fractions
  • Measurement
  • Geometry – properties of shapes
  • Geometry – position and direction



This early introduction of Science is to help children learn how to observe the world around them, both natural and manmade. Once you have achieved your Primary School Teacher qualifications, you will teach children the following:

Key Stage 1 and 2 

  • Plants
  • Animals, including humans
  • Everyday materials
  • Seasonal changes

Some Primary School Teachers focus on specialised subjects, such as Maths, Science, or Languages, but generally, they provide an overall teaching experience.


A career as a primary school teacher - special needs courses - cache level 3 award in childcare and education - ncfe cache level 3


Is Primary Teaching a Good Career?

Teaching primary school, UK residents, is both rewarding and challenging. If you consider yourself to be a patient person, have a caring nature, and are passionate about helping children develop emotionally and academically, working as a Primary School Teacher would suit your personality.

There is no doubt that you have to put in hard work to achieve Primary School Teacher qualifications, but the hard work begins when you qualify! Children can be demanding and temperamental, so you require a good level of patience as well as a caring attitude.

You have to be adaptable and encouraging while also imparting educational knowledge. Primary school teaching courses will prepare you for this, but it is only when you get in the classroom that you will know the roles and responsibilities of Primary School Teachers.

Generally, though, you will be responsible for the following:

  • Teaching subjects on the National Curriculum
  • Planning lessons
  • Preparing teaching materials
  • Marking classwork and assignments
  • Keeping records of achievement
  • Communicating with parents
  • Organising trips and activities


Start Your Career Journey Today!

For aspiring Primary School Teachers, there are many routes that you can take to achieve your goal, including enrolling on Teacher training courses online. If you are confident that you will be able to teach a broad spectrum of subjects at primary level, then consider primary school teaching courses!

learndirect is the UK’s leading online learning provider, helping more than 4 million learners achieve their desired qualifications through online training courses. With the flexibility of online study, you can work towards becoming a Primary School Teacher in your own time and at your own pace. To get started, speak to one of our Course Executives on 01202 006 464 or contact us online.

Sign up to our Newsletter

Call us